Interactive Chairlift Video Entertains With Alternate Scenarios

I can thank Apple for introducing me to the band Chairlift when their song, “Bruises,” was used in an iPod Nano ad in 2008.

That ad gave Chairlift exposure to a broader audience. Nowadays, Chairlift is making technological advances in a medium that’s often waning in popularity: the music video. Remember the good old days when there were TV channels that devoted their entire lineup to playing music videos as opposed to reality TV programs?

M ss ng p eces created an interactive music video for Chairlift's "Met Before" that uses technology by to make a video where viewers choose their own path.

The video was co-written by Jordan Fish, Director of m ss ng p eces, and Caroline Polachek, Chairlift’s lead singer and songwriter.

To say this video is a brilliant piece of story-telling is an understatement. I’ve  played around with it for easily 20 minutes, and I’m still finding new scenarios I’ve never watched before. And here’s the kicker: I want to keep watching to see what alternate scripts I’ve yet to encounter. Can you imagine the possibilities for other musicians or brands to interact with their fans/consumers in this manner?

“Met Before” begins with the conclusion of a science class that counts Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly as students. The pair are research scientists throughout the video -- and each path selection determines where, and with whom, Caroline interacts.

According to Fish, the video’s opening scene features cameos by Arpiar Saunders and Ben Ewen-Campen, rising stars in the fields of neuroscience and organismic & evolutionary biology respectively.

The video took three months to complete, said Ari Kuschnir, CEO of m ss ng p eces.

“We wanted to do something fresh and interesting that would expand the possibilities of what a music video could be on the Web. Jordan had experimented with an interactive video for MGMT, and I thought it would be a fantastic way to create buzz about a new song,” continued Kuschnir.’s video technology lets users switch adventure paths without a wait time for the video to reload -- one of the main reasons why I keep replaying the video and mapping out undiscovered routes. I really like the story lines that get the scientists out of the laboratory and outdoors to collect specimens.

Some potential scenarios that I’ve come across include: a bee-keeping incident with either a happy or sad ending; a psychedelic trip after eating mushrooms; pining for a crush; and discovering the neural underpinnings of déjà vu.

The potential combinations seem endless. “We honestly haven't figured out the math yet, because each storypath forks in its own way. Math majors, email us,” said Fish.

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